Using edible math manipulatives gets students excited about learning. If students are disinterested during math lessons in school and they are unmotivated to do their math assignments at home, there is a way to get them interested pretty quick! Incorporating the use of snack foods and sweets into the lesson will get students interested in the activity and they can look forward to eating their treats once the lesson is completed!
Homemade play dough makes great edible math manipulatives
Hands on learning is crucial to development, and for young children that like to put things in their mouths sometimes this can be a problem. Luckily there is a way to safely let kids play with molding dough that they can safely eat if they get the urge to see how it tastes! This video has a recipe for edible play dough that is simple and uses ingredients you probably already have at home! Play dough doesn’t have to just be for playtime, children can also use it for learning activities. They can use it to form geometric shapes and even create their own edible math manipulatives for counting and learning fractions. The dough can be made into different colored balls for counting and even formed into a pizza and then cut into slices for fraction practice.
Doing math with Smarties!
Little colored candies like Smarties are perfect for counting and comparing numbers. Students can count the number of yellow Smarties they have and compare that to the number of green, red, blue, orange and purple Smarties they have. They can even create their own chart that uses the candies to graph the results of their findings so they can visually see how the numbers translate to a graph that they might see in their math or science books. Students can also use their Smarties to practice fractions and percents by asking them questions like “if you have 20 Smarties and 5 of them are blue, can you write this in fraction form and determine what percent of the Smarties are blue?” Doing these kind of math activities with edible math manipulatives makes learning more interesting than filling out a worksheet that covers the same concepts.
Square crackers are the perfect math manipulatives for geometry
Teaching the concept of measuring the area and perimeter of shapes can be challenging. Usually it involves drawing pictures with graph paper and using equations. Using objects that can be moved around and manipulated are ideal for teaching this concept. What is even better is using edible math manipulatives like Cheez-Its or other square crackers for these lessons. Students can arrange the crackers into squares and rectangles and easily count the number of “squares” as the area and they can see the spaces between each cracker so they can count around the edge of the shape to find the perimeter. Using math manipulatives teach the same concepts as paper worksheets, but being able to work with their hands helps students grasp the concept even better.
Adapting math lessons with edible math manipulatives
Just about any math lesson can be adapted to include some edible math manipulatives. Kids can measure the length of gummy worms and pieces of licorice, or use a pizza to work with fractions. The possibilities are endless! Treats and snacks are great for classroom management and as rewards for good behavior but they can also be used to increase student interest in learning. Edible math manipulatives can be used at home to aid students with their homework and can also be used by personal tutors during math tutoring sessions. Make learning fun and tasty!